General Manager's Message January 2020
Incorporated into every STEC Board Meeting, Staff Meeting, Safety Meeting, HR Communications Meeting, Goal Setting Meeting, and other meetings, is the familiar gray four-sided pyramid that identifies STEC’s Core Values: Safety, Integrity, Teamwork, and Communication. Despite our familiarity with this rotating symbol, it is well worth our time to periodically review what each of those values embodies and how they should affect how we perform our duties as STEC employees.
The United States Army published the following statement in March 2018:
Safety is a core value. It requires a personal commitment at all levels in the organization. There's a big difference in how a company thinks and behaves when safety is a value, rather than a program or a priority. For a company with safety as a core value, safety has become a way of life.
I noted with interest the last portion of the Army’s statement, as STEC’s Safety Logo includes the statement "safety has become a way of life.
When the Board of Directors identified the strategic priorities that STEC as an organization is to pursue, they specifically discussed whether to include Safety as a strategic priority. They ultimately chose to treat Safety in a special manner and stated formally that "Safety is fundamental to all that we do as an organization", meaning that in the pursuit of any strategic priority, safety must be incorporated into every facet of that pursuit. Nothing is more important to the entire organization than the safety of STEC’s employees.
When asked what the word “integrity” means to them, most people respond that integrity means “doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”. That is a great answer, but I also like the following:
People who demonstrate integrity draw others to them because they are trustworthy and dependable. They are principled and you can count on them to behave in honorable ways even when no one is watching. They are principled enough that they perform even when no one even knows about their performance. They form the core of the people who you want to hire if you seek a superior, trustworthy workforce.
I wholeheartedly agree that people with integrity are the people you want to hire if you want a “superior, trustworthy workforce”. In other words, STEC’s performance and trustworthiness of the organization, can be determined as the sum of the integrity of each STEC employee. Greater focus on individual employee integrity leads to a stronger, more effective organization, and failure to focus on that integrity will have the opposite effect.
"There’s no 'I' in team, but there is in win." — Michael Jordan
Everyone who has ever played a team sport realizes that not every member of the team possesses the same talents, strengths, and capabilities, and it is that very diversity that provides a team with its unique capability. The statement, first coined by Aristotle, "the Whole is greater than the Sum of its Parts", is supported by the "TEAM” acronym – Together, Everyone, Achieves, More.
Each STEC employee is a valued member of the STEC organization-wide team, and the strength of the STEC organization depends on each employee fulfilling his or her responsibilities as a team member.
Effective communication is a process of exchanging ideas, thoughts, knowledge and information such that the purpose or intention is fulfilled in the best possible manner. In simple words, it is nothing but the presentation of views by the sender in a way best understood by the receiver.
Sounds simple, right? In my opinion, effective communication is the most sought after, and yet most difficult to achieve, of the core values. Almost without exception, every employee I have visited with believes communication within the organization can improve, yet very few have any good recommendations for how to achieve that improvement.
My commitment to communication within STEC is to share within legal limits, the information I have that effects employees, as often and in as many forums as I can. Employees who attend Staff Meetings and Employee Standing Committee Meetings will receive the same information from me. An employee who stops me after a meeting, or who comes by my office (any employee is welcome), will also hear the same information. It is vitally important that every STEC employee understands the issues the organization is facing, the priorities that we are pursuing, the goals we have set, and the important role each employee has in ensuring STEC’s success.
Our "core" values define who we are and what we are constantly seeking to improve. Our annual performance evaluations, and corresponding pay recommendations, are directly tied to how well we exhibit these values, and the success of the organization is directly affected by our commitment to them.